Australian coach Langer wants struggling batsmen to step up
Australia coach Justin Langer urged the batsmen fighting on his team to step forward and deliver when the final ashes test against England begins Thursday at The Oval.
Australia took an undisputed 2-1 lead in the five-test series after their 185-runs win in the fourth test at Old Trafford and now has a chance to conclude their first series win in England since 2001 when Steve W’s men augh won 4-1.
Batter Steve Smith’s performances, with an astronomical average of 134.2, and batter Marnus Labuschagne, combined with a strong performance from bowlers, have minimized the impact of failures by the other specialist hitters during the Series.
Batsmen Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Harris, Cameron Bancroft, and David Warner been missing, and experienced opening batsmen Warner was the worst on the lot with an average of 9.87.
While safe knowing that England cannot win the ashes, Langer said Australia would not relax in the fifth test.
“You still have to perform, like an Australian test cricketer,” he told reporters.
“Whether or not winning the ashes will make a difference, time will tell, but you still have to perform if you’re young or old.”
With 671 runs out of three races, Smith carried the Australian batting on his shoulders with some support from Labuschagne, who has an average of 58.2 in the series.
Langer asked for patience with the young batsmen on the side.
“He (Smith) has done a lot for Australian cricket in recent years, and so has Dave Warner,” Langer said.
“But we also have to remember, Travis Head is new to try ingestry cricket, Marnus (Labuschagne) is new to trying cricket, Marcus Harris is new to trying cricket, Cameron Bancroft is new to trying cricket.”
“You can’t give them that experience, they have to earn it, and we’re very grateful to have Steve batting.” We’re lucky to have it, but trying cricket takes time. We have to respect that, and it takes a long time.”
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While his batters have failed, Langer has no such problems with his fast bowling unit.
Pacer Pat Cummins has played all four tests and is the choice of fast pitchers with 24 wickets, while fast pitcher Josh Hazlewood has taken 18 out of three.
The touring team has pacemakers James Pattinson and Peter Siddle with two tests each on their own in the series, and the uncovered Michael Neser is also an option.
“We have James Pattinson jumping off his skin to play the next test,” Langer said. “Peter Siddle, in those first two tests, was probably the most outstanding bowler, a great professional and a heartbreaking person to have on the team.
“It will be fascinating to see how they (Cummins and Hazlewood) stop. Whatever happens, we’re lucky enough to have a couple of other guys who are eager to go if we need them.”